Blackjack: 21 or Under

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When it comes to the casino, whether that be a brick-and-mortar venue or a virtual casino floor, there will always be a game of Blackjack waiting for you to pull up a seat and be dealt into play.

Whether you play Blackjack online games or in-person at your favourite casino establishment, the game will always have the same aim – to hold a hand valued at 21 or under, yet be higher than the dealer’s hand.

With this in mind, we thought it would be a great time to learn some of the history of Blackjack, whilst also refreshing your gameplay know-how. So, scroll down to join us.

Where it all began

Where it all began

Where Blackjack came from, believe it or not, is still under debate between researchers and historians as some believe that the game originated from the Romans, who instead of cards, played with wooden blocks that featured painted numbers on them. It’s said that the Romans loved to gamble, and this is one of the games they played.

However, there is no concrete evidence of this, so it has been agreed that the most reliable origin on record for the game of Blackjack we know today actually begins in 1700s France.

It is said that the game derived from a handful of games that were popular at the time, which merged together to create the foundations for the game we all know and love today.

It is also rumoured that the French Royal Court liked to play this game during the reign of King Louis XV. It was here that Blackjack was known as Vingt-et-Un, which translates to Twenty-One.

In the 18th century, thanks to French colonists, the game reached the shores of America, where the game flourished. In 1820, in New Orleans, the game entered the newly legalised gambling halls, rising in popularity and spreading like wildfire amongst players.

It was also during this time that a French lady, Eleanor Dumont, immigrated to America and travelled around the country until residing in Nevada City, California, where she opened her own gambling establishment. Dumont was a highly skilled dealer, who was classed as a rarity amongst others.

Due to her skills, she had players from all over the country travel to visit her establishment to play a game of Twenty-One against her. She ironically called her gambling establishment Vingt-et-Un.

Modern-day Blackjack

As we entered the 20th century, Blackjack was still known as Twenty-One, but not for long.

During the 20th century, casinos and gambling establishments agreed they wanted to run a promotion on the game, to help bring more players to their venues.

One of these bonus offers consisted of an extra payout if a player’s hand contained the Ace of Spades as well as one of the two black coloured j=Jacks within the deck; the Jack of Clubs or Jack of Spades.

This bonus offer was known as a Blackjack. The promotion was a big hit with players, and when the offers fizzled out, the name remained.

How to play Blackjack

How to play Blackjack

Gameplay itself is simple – you’ll be dealt two cards by the dealer, who will also deal themselves two cards too. You then turn your cards over to reveal their value. The dealer will only turn over one of their cards. If your cards equal to 21, and the dealer’s hand doesn’t, you win.

If your total is over 21, you lose. If the dealer’s hand is over 21, they lose. If you are far away from 21 and think you could get closer with another card, you can ask the dealer to ‘hit’ you. The aim of the game is to have a higher hand than the dealer, without going over 21. No other players around the table affect your gameplay.

It is good to note here that cards two to 10 are worth their own face value. The royals; Jack, Queen and King hold a value of ten. The Ace, however, holds two values, which you choose to help serve you the best hand, these values can either be one or 11.

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